HR Tech Interview with Meg Bear, President at SAP SuccessFactors

Journey into Tech

What changed for the Human Capital Management (HCM) market in the post-pandemic era? How are business owners looking at HCM tools for their HR operations?

The pandemic was an accelerant of the growing expectations for HR organizations. At the most basic level, HR has had to take on responsibilities around basic health & safety, leading the charge for the (safe) return to offices. The pandemic also served to create the war for talent that we are all living through today. The “great re-evaluation”, remote work, and quiet quitting have all been central topics for HR organizations, requiring even more investment and emphasis into employee experience.

HR leaders have an opportunity to take on a larger, more strategic role in their organizations, but this requires that HR both enables organizations to navigate the post-pandemic challenges, but is also able to take on more proactive, strategic work. HCM platforms need to support some of the basics around employee experience but has the opportunity to also support organizational transformation.

Please tell us about the recent innovations in the HCM suite that everyone should be aware of?

In our second half release of 2022 (November) we released a number of significant innovations that have accelerated the delivery of our “Future-Ready Workforce” strategy. Whether or not organizations have the skills they need to be successful today, the pace of innovation we see in the global economy nearly guarantees they don’t have the skills they need for the near future. Organizations simply can’t hire their way out of this problem, and so they have to proactively upskill & reskill their workforces at scale.

Our latest Future-Ready Workforce innovations include:

  • Dynamic Teams – A lightweight toolset for teams that exist outside traditional org structures to form, manage and measure their success.
  • Talent Intelligence Hub – Machine Learning & AI-powered talent intelligence helps organizations understand the skills their employees have today, the gaps that exist and the ways in which they can close those gaps. Talent intelligence also provides highly personalized learning & development recommendations that ensures employees develop their skillsets while pursuing a career aligned to their ambitions. This both accelerates upskilling & reskilling at scale while delivering employee experiences as unique as each employee.
  • Opportunity Marketplace – The above mentioned recommendations are primarily surfaced in Opportunity Marketplace, giving employees a single place to discover new growth opportunities across learning, mentors, dynamic teams, permanent roles and more.

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Analytics, Automation and AI have emerged as the biggest disruptors in the HR Tech landscape. Could you please tell us a classic example of how these all come together to solve HCM challenges?

The value is data and individualization – bringing together the whole-self model to reach each person in an individualized way to help elevate purpose and engagement.

The goal is no longer HR process optimization – the goal is human potential maximization.

Our Skills Ontology / Talent Intelligence is the biggest way to talk about our capabilities. AI/ML can spot connections between skills beyond human ability, at scale.

What kind of product are you looking to build at SAP SuccessFactors using AI and Automation capabilities?

Again, we see value in bringing together the whole-self model to reach each person in an individualized way to help elevate purpose and engagement.  Our Skills Ontology / Talent Intelligence is the biggest way to talk about our capabilities. AI/ML can spot connections between skills beyond human ability, at scale.

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Which industries are still lagging in the adoption of HR Technologies and tools for their HCM operations?

We’ve seen that the public sector and large complex businesses have been later to move to the cloud, but the bright spot is that they have a chance to leapfrog as tech has evolved more today. With more than 9,000 customers in the cloud and more than 5,000 EC customers in the cloud, the implementation expertise and the security and technology landscape is even more mature.

What are the challenges they face in onboarding with the HRTech trends?

Over the last decade the tech challenges have been materially reduced – now we are building tools that have bigger impacts on culture and organizational agility – these are the areas that forward thinking businesses are investing in today. Any organization still utilizing on-premises HCM will not benefit from the rapid innovation & technology that cloud platforms deliver.

Your predictions for the HR tech market in thecoming months?

Economic volatility will do for organizational culture what Covid did for digital transformation; it moves from a nice-to-have to a must-have.

Advice to a STARTUP HR Team planning to buy an HCM suite? What advantages should they expect to work with if they tap a platform like SAP SuccessFactors?

Our differentiators are clear. We have the global expertise, which is increasingly critical in these uncertain and volatile times. In addition, our wealth of customers and our innovation scale offers a strategic competitive advantage.

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An event/ conference or podcast that you have subscribed to consume information about B2B technology industry: If invited, would you like to be part of a podcast episode on Automation / AI / NLP tech research?

I think that the new innovations are going to come from cross disciplinary sources, so I tend to do a lot of reading – things like The Economist, several World Economic Forum and TED connections and broad innovation thinkers. I recently subscribed to Exponential View by Azeem Azhar and I am finding that super interesting as well.

Thank you, Meg! That was fun and hope to see you back on HR Tech Series soon.

[To participate in our interview series, please write to us at

My expertise is developing and scaling next-generation enterprise cloud businesses from concept to profit encompassing business strategy, product management, product development, mergers and acquisitions (M&As), and market acceleration.

Strategic, tactical, and operational leadership that fuel growth and profitability is my passion. As a Global C-Level Executive, I am committed to delivering shareholder value through launching disruptive technology solutions, driving global expansions, building high-performance systems and teams, and steering high-value acquisitions to position technology companies on a growth trajectory.

Throughout my professional history, I managed 2B+ ARR and led 2,000+ global resources (direct/indirect). In addition, I created 6 technology patents with 5 pending and several publications in HRM Today, Workforce Solutions Review and Forbes. I have been cited as a thought leader in Fortune Magazine, Huffington Post, ZDNet and the KQED Blog. I have been a Keynote Speaker for Tech Women and Oracle Open World and have been appointed in multiple Executive Board positions, including TEDx San Jose, CA.

SAP SuccessFactors is the global provider of cloud-based Human Experience Management (HXM) software. Our HR application suite integrates onboarding, social business and collaboration tools, a learning management system (LMS), performance management, recruiting software, applicant tracking software, succession planning, talent management, and HR analytics to deliver business strategy alignment, team execution, and maximum people performance to organizations of all sizes across more than 60 industries, in over 200 countries and territories.

Employee ExperienceHCM platformsHR organizationsHR Tech InterviewSAP SuccessFactorsTalent IntelligenceTalent Intelligence Hub
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